Today I thought I would dish out some facts about the voiceover industry! Things that are based on public data that can be fact checked and confirmed. There can be too much noise out there sometimes and an opinion becomes fact all too quickly with no basis in reality just because it gained traction in a Facebook group. And we all know that everything on the internet must be true……
The best of the best. According to Voices dot com, the highest earning talent on the site have a booking rate of around 6%. Yep. That means for every 100 auditions, they book 6! And this is the best talent on their site. The average booking rate across the whole site is 3%. As Voices is one of the largest online casting sites, this info is based on huge amount of data and can therefore be extrapolated to auditioning on any online casting site.
Voice over is kind of a numbers game. The above stat may have scared you. That’s a lot of rejection to go through to book a job. But don’t look at it like that. Auditioning is an opportunity for you to act and perform. And that is what most of us love about this industry. Interestingly, according to the “State of Voiceover in 2021 Survey” nearly 75% of respondents audition less than 5 time a day. Now, there are many reasons for this. The top performers in the industry have built relationships with clients and do not need to audition as much to book work. Some don’t even take part in online casting and rely solely on agents and repeat clients. But if you look at the raw data, if people only audition 5 times a day at an average booking rate of 3%, you would book on average 1 job every 6-7 working days. And with most online casting jobs paying between $200 to $500, you would earn less than $350 (the mean of $200-$500) a week. This is confirmed with the next piece of data.
Voiceover isn’t a get rich quick scheme. According to the “State of Voiceover in 2021 Survey” 75% of respondents earn less than $40K and nearly 50% earned less than $8K. You must be in the top 15% to get close to earning over $100K. And don’t think that this is skewed by people who haven’t been in the industry long. 75% of people who responded to this survey said they had been in the industry longer than 3 years.
An agent may make you feel good but isn’t the answer to making consistent money. When we first start doing voiceover, we have this feeling that getting an agent is going to change everything. Yes, it is vindication that somebody in the industry believes you have a talent that is sellable. That’s a good thing. Yet, over 50% of the voice actors have at least one agent yet 67% of all respondents earn less than 20% of their income from agent work. Each agent has a pool of talent. That talent is MUCH more competitive than on online casting sites. Your booking ratio will almost definitely be lower. If we use a 1% booking rate and let’s say you get 5 auditions a week from your agents, you will book just over two jobs per year. Yes, these jobs pay much more than an online casting site. If we took an average of $3k per agent job, then that is still $6K for a year! Time to get the Ramen noodles out!
Nobody knows who you are. Apart from the elite, top LA voiceovers, nobody is going to type your name into Google to find you. You may have the best voice and acting skills in the world, but if no one hears you, then it doesn’t mean squat. If that hurts your feelings, so be it. These are facts. It is your responsibility to get yourself heard. Most people call it marketing. I’m not a huge fan of that term. I like to see it as opportunities to find people who I can build a relationship with and who will listen to my demo. That should be your end goal. The more people who hear your demo, the more likely you are to get heard by someone who wants to use your service. It really is that simple. The stats for this in the survey are mind blowing. 47% said they did not perform any direct marketing. Nearly 60% said they send no more than 1 email per day! Here are the email stats for the creative industry according to Mailchimp,
That means only 1 in 5 emails are going to be read on average. If you have a good call to action (which could be go to your website or play demo) then only 1 in 45 people will click it. If you send one email a day, it will take a month and half for someone to click your link.
This data is not to scare you. If you didn’t realize it before, improving your game in any of these areas is going to increase your chances of booking jobs or being heard. If you are good enough (and that comes through training), then you can put in a little more work than those in the data supplied and you can book more. It’s not doom and gloom. Your career is in your hands. What are you prepared to do to be a success?